Woof, Endy.
 
Woof.
 
ACL, MCL, cartilage, all busted, along with the season, and next season’s spring training, at least.
 
That should not be the consequence of playing hard. Playing hard should earn you fame, cheers, and a good night’s sleep. Instead, Endy Chavez gets an indeterminate amount of time on the Mariners’ DL.  Not.  Cool.
 
I’ve seen the replay; can’t really fault Yuniesky Betancourt, either.  He was chasing for it hard; maybe he didn’t hear Endy calling for it… .  It was just nasty luck.
 
The guy could barely hit a lick in ’08 for the Mets, but I love Endy Chavez still. My plan tickets have me entering Citi Field, regularly, through the Left Field gate, and observation as well as a note from Metsblog from way back leads me to believe that the silhouette at the gate is that of The Catch. Spectacular.
 
I attend my Friday games with a Mets fan and a Yankees fan, and they were with each other, at a bar, during Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS. The Yankees fan (he’s a SHINING example of one of the good ones; find yourself a Yankees fan who loves baseball so much that he’ll gladly plunk down $300 on fifteen METS games) regularly tells the story of how he believes he blacked out briefly when Endy made The Catch, and as soon as the relay was coming in to first, he was standing on his bar stool.  Cheering his guts out.

I was home, and shaking on my floor, on my knees, fist pumping in the air. My landlord–the octogenarian war veteran living (by choice!  by choice!) in the basement–was shouting as loud as I’d ever heard him. My sister, living with me at the time, came out of her room believing someone had broken in or I’d fallen from the roof.  Neither was the case, but had a thief broken in, we’d’ve stood in front of the TV together and watched the replay on my DVR; had I been watching on my roof and fallen out of excitement, then adrenaline and euphoria would’ve been enough to sustain me while I took in the rest of the game, and walked to Lutheran Medical.
 
I cried in 2006 because of The Catch. I drank HARD after strike three to Beltran, but I cried after The Catch.

The MLB highlights promo that runs at Citi before every game draws my loudest cheers for The Catch. Not the Grand Slam Single or Piazza’s home run at the game post-9/11.  The Catch was one of the greatest grabs in all of sport.  And I’m going back to when the ball was invented. I’m talking centuries here.  

The only way I could be hyperbolic about this is if I were to say that a greater catch has never been made in all of imagination.  I once scaled a sixteen foot-high wall to rob Ryan Howard of a home run, then flung my glove, El Duque-style, at Shane Victorino off second for an unassisted double-play that ended the inning. On my way back to the dugout I flipped off Oliver Perez, who was heading to the mound (in this version, he’s been traded to the Phillies).  That catch was SLIGHTLY better than Endy’s.
 
A knock against my Yankees fan friend is that he repeatedly states that The Catch can’t truly be considered great because the Mets wound up losing that game. Obviously I disagree.

You can’t deny Endy’s spirit, Endy’s hustle. (By no means am I saying he was the only one on that 2006 team that had it.) It’s a great play because, in that moment, the Mets were alive, and the potential for turning the tide, rather than just holding it off, was there.  It was the physical manifestation of that feeling I got when the Mets won games in late September, chugging to the finish line, and DiamondVision showed the crowd one word: “BELIEVE.”

We could believe then because of Endy.  I will continue to believe because of Endy.  I believe he’ll get better, and I hope he still has many playing years ahead of him.

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